By Unini Chioma
*As Ozekhome Dismisses 15-Count Charge As Watery, Baseless
A Federal High Court in Abuja has shifted further proceedings in the treasonable felony case against detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu till February 16, 2022.
Justice Binta Nyako announced the adjournment on Wednesday after Kanu pleaded not guilty to the amended 15 count charge brought against him by the Federal Government, in which he was charged with terrorism related offences.
After his plea was taken, lead prosecuting lawyer, Magaji Labaran indicated the intention of the prosecution to open it case by calling its first witness.
Labaran said he was with two of his witnesses in court.
Lead defence lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) said the defence filed a preliminary objection on Tuesday evening,seeking that the charge be struck out or quashed.
“We are further asking that the defendant should be discharged and acquitted as there is nothing in this charge. It has no basis at all.
“We also have a motion requesting the court to grant bail to the defendant,” Ozekhome said.
Labaran countered him, arguing that both application filed by the defence were not ripe for hearing.
He added that he would require time to examine them to enable him decide whether or not to respond to them.
Labaran noted: “In essence, the business of the day cannot be allowed to be truncated by these applications.”
Ruling, Justice Binta Nyako held that since the first application by the defendant was challenging the propriety of his trial and the competence of the charge, it was appropriate that the court hear him first on that application.
The judge added: “As for the second motion (on the issue of bail), I don’t even want to talk about it, at least not at this stage.”
She then adjourned till February 16 for the hearing of the application.